Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Mapping Conquest in South Africa and Australia: Preliminary Report of an Interdisciplinary Research Project

Prof. Norman Etherington.

Adequate theoretical work on the wider meanings of ‘mapping’ has already been done, but very little work has been done on the role of mapping in the colonial conquest of the Southern hemisphere. The area in which intellectual break-throughs are likely to be achieved in is the study of the map as physical artefact and visual representation, along with the study of the physical process which brought Australian and South African maps.
Among the research results to be described are: the effect of maps on the construction of ethnicity in the two countries; the physical effects of surveying on peoples living in fragile ecosystems; the cummulative effects of cartographic errors; the role of city planning in the spatial representation of colonial conquest; the effects of fictive maps in art and literature on the process of colonization.
The presentation will also provide a synoptic account of the research team's first publications.


Prof. Norman Etherington  (Australia)
Professor of History
School of Humanities
University of Western Australia

Norman Etherington holds BA and PhD degrees from Yale University and is a past president of the Australian Historical Association. Since 1989 he has been Professor of History at the University of Western Australia

  • History of European Imperialism
  • Australian History
  • South African History
  • History of Cartography

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)